Wooden toys. Classic, sustainable and durable too, perfect for passing down from sibling to sibling and even generation to generation. With our growing range of wooden wonders, we've compiled a guide to buying the right ones. Get ready to find out which wooden toys will help with each stage of your kids’ development, and why.
FOR 0-12 MONTHS
Around the 3 week mark, you’ll find that your new buddy is beginning to clock more of the world around them and starting to enjoy following things with their eyes, as they become more able to focus. A stylish wooden play gym can be popped over their play mat or changing mat so they can lie back and watch the action above them, before they develop the ability to reach out and actually grab the toys. If you just buy the wooden frame - like this one by Jabadabado - you can hang the toys of your choice, then switch them up to keep things surrprising for your little one.
By the six month stage, they've become a lot more curious, and will be using all their developing senses to explore the world around them. Wooden toys that'll keep them entertained on-the-go are great as you'll probably find yourself wanting to go out and about a lot more too. Classic World's Macaroon Rattle has different textures to explore, a mirror for them to discover their own reflection and it all folds together in a cute macaroon-shaped compact, great to stick in your back pocket.
We also love the Petit Collage Animal Friends Wooden Percussion Instruments: great to stick in the change bag, these clever little rattles and shakers bring the rhythm wherever you go.
FOR 1-2 YEAR OLDS
They've reached the toddler years and most kids get bitten by the building bug. Wooden construction toys come in all shapes and sizes and are great for developing hand-eye coordination and simple reasoning. Brands like Janod, Hape, Djeco, Kid's Concept, Petit Collage and Grimm's all make wooden building blocks that'll inspire little hands to create soaring skyscrapers (or little bungalows, as they'd prefer). For added entertainment, the designers at Vilac have built various shaking and rattling sounds into their funky-looking Sea Musical Blocks - for an extra sensory thrill as your toddler builds, topples and experiments.
A wooden activity cube is a great pick at this age for developing their dexterity even further. We love Little Dutch's because it has a different educational activity on each side - spinning tiles, rotating gears, a shape sorter and a nice bead spiral on top. Plus the top can flip to be stored inside the cube to save space when you put it away. Although we're pretty sure it'll be out again tomorrow...
By this age they'll probably be pros at walking - or at least having a very good go - so a wooden walker is a reliable play pick. Lots of wooden models feature of 'in-flight' entertainment, like bead mazes to thread and cogs and gears to twiddle.
A push along wagon is another great option for toy that'll do duty for years. We can't sell enough of Janod's Sweet Cocoon Cart With ABC Blocks: it's got plenty of space for them to give rides to their favourite cuddly pals, an abacus for learning to count with and ABC blocks to build with too. Cashback!
FOR 2-3 YEAR OLDS
By the 2-3 year mark, most kids have become firm fans of pretend play. Now's a great time to offer up role play toys that they'll return to for years to come. A wooden play kitchen is a great investment, big ticket or joint present for birthday or Christmas. They'll love being able to pretend to wash up, make dinner or even have their first go at running a restaurant!
Whether it's going to live in your living space, their bedroom or their playroom, we sell stylish options by Kid's Concept, Jabadabado, Tender Leaf Toys and Le Toy Van that are full of charm and fun and come with lots of wonderful wooden utensils and accessories.
If you're shopping for a little petrol-head, we stock lots of brands designing beautiful cars, planes, trains and garages from wonderful wood. As well as being fun, tracks and garages are great for encouraging dexterity and imagination, inspiring grand road trips on the living room rug. Check out Jabadabado, Classic World, Janod and Kid's Concept.
FOR 3-4 YEAR OLDS
They’ve hit pre-school age - a time of big changes and challenges. With nursery comes a whole lot of new learning, the need for more sophisticated social skills, more complex collaborative pretend play, not to mention numeracy, literacy and more. (Phew!)
Kid's Concept and Tender Leaf Toys are great brands for taking make-believe to the next level with everything from toasters and waffle makers to garden-themed playsets to get their role play juices flowing. We love Tender Leaf Toys' Rainbow Birthday Cake because of the attention to detail (the little felt flames on the candles!) as well as the level of fun kids can have with it, preparing birthday parties and treating their toy friends and human friends to a tasty slice.
The Janod Doctor's Suitcase is great value pick that kits them out with everything they need to take your temperature, check your heartbeat and blood pressure and cure you of any malady, from boo-boos to coughs and sniffles, all in a dinky little case.
An easel or blackboard is also a great idea at this stage: having their own space to express themselves will encourage all kinds of mark-making and help them with their ABCs and numbers.
Finally, browse our range of wooden puzzles and simple wooden games. Games that require a bit of strategising and encourage turn-taking can really help kids of this age to cope with the give and take of the classroom. We love wooden balancing games or simple board games like ludo - they're fun for siblings, playmates or for the whole family to get stuck into.
So there you have it. A brief guide to some of the great wooden toys we sell for each stage and stage. Find the whole wooden toy selection right here. And remember, if you need any more guidance, our Live Chat Team are always here to help, 8am-10pm, every day. Just hit that purple button, bottom right.